Baseball visits Ole Miss after marathon loss



By Tom Hurley | @TomHurleyKernel

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After playing the longest baseball game in college baseball this season on Tuesday night in Bowling Green, Ky., No. 24 UK baseball is back for more on Thursday when the Cats start a three-game series with Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.

The six-hour, 18-inning marathon loss to the Hilltoppers was the Cats’ seventh successive defeat and their 10th loss in their last 12 games.

UK head coach Gary Henderson made sure to save the arms of the three pitchers who will start for the Cats at No. 16 Ole Miss.

Thursday’s series opener will see sophomore left-handed pitcher A.J. Reed (2-5, 3.20 ERA) take to the mound against the Rebels’ undefeated junior right-handed pitcher Bobby Wahl (8-0, 1.22 ERA).

Wahl has allowed one home run in 66.2 innings of work so far in 2013, holding opposing batters to a .183 batting average and 43 hits total, allowing nine earned runs and striking out 56.

Friday’s matchup will pit UK’s senior left-handed pitcher Jerad Grundy (5-4, 4.43 ERA) against Ole Miss’ junior right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers (2-4, 2.98 ERA).

Grundy’s last outing came in last Saturday’s loss to No. 14 South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

The southpaw didn’t give up a walk against the Gamecocks and has allowed 16 walks in 61 innings of pitching this season.

Mayers has struck out 43 and walked 22 in 57.1 innings on the year and will be looking for his second win against the Cats in as many seasons.

In 2012 Mayers held the Cats to three runs on eight hits as he pitched 7.1 innings to lead the Rebels to a 9-3 win in Lexington.

Junior left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell (4-3, 3.20 ERA) will go for the Cats in Saturday’s series finale.

The Rebels (30-12, 10-8 SEC) will counter with sophomore right-handed pitcher Sam Smith (2-0, 3.49 ERA).

Littrell threw 125 pitches in 7.2 innings in the Cats’ 3-1 loss to South Carolina last Sunday.

UK (24-16, 7-11 SEC) will look to snap its losing streak in game one of the series on Thursday at Swayze Field. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m.